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Healing Sexual Trauma through Sensate Focus

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One of the most difficult things for me to deal with as a therapist is the aftermath of sexual trauma. And I know that the trouble I have with this is only a tiny fraction of the difficulty my client has as he or she faces his/her past. I share with you a correspondence I’ve had with a 36-year-old man from Boston named Trent.

Dr. Dick,
When I was 10 years my parish priest molested me. It went on for over a year. Mostly, I’ve been able to put this behind me. I’ve been married over a year to this really great gal. She’s been very understanding and supportive, and we love each other very much. A couple of weeks ago when we were having sex, my wife started to massage my bottom. This was the first time someone touched me there since I was 10. At first it felt good, but then I remembered how I felt when I was a kid and freaked out. I started to cry. My poor wife was devastated at the thought of triggering this painful memory. I told her it wasn’t her fault, but we haven’t had sex since. I’m worried, but I don’t know what to do.

Working through a sexual trauma, like the one Trent experienced as a kid, is difficult. But it is essential for regaining a healthy sense of the sexual self. I told Trent—and this applies to any anyone else who has had regrettable early sexual experiences in their past—that I strongly suggested that he and his wife engage a sex-positive therapist to help them get back on track.

Many people have dealt with some kind of sexually related trauma in their lives.  However, some trauma is more severe than others. Emotional scar tissue and painful memories may linger, but you can learn to insulate yourself from the disruptive effects of the past in the present. Thanks to the indomitable human spirit, most of us live through our difficulties and go on to develop healthy, integrated sex lives.

Sensate focus is a process that helps individuals move through painful sexual memories and heal the rift between the affected parts of the body and the pleasure they can produce. I thought this technique would be of particular value for Trent because of something he’d said: “At first it felt good, but then I remembered how I felt when I was a kid and freaked out.” This tells me that he was able to enjoy the sensations before the association with the molestation kicked in and ruined everything. Sensate focus offers a way to short-circuit this disruptive connection and rewire it for pleasure instead of pain.

What follows are structured therapeutic touching exercises for couples. They are not a prelude to sex. You need to be clear on that. Your genitals will be involved. There will be pleasure and arousal, for sure. But the object of this process is to desensitize the trigger (in Trent’s case, his butt), then re-sensitize it for pleasure. These exercises take about an hour one day a week over the course of a month. If you embark on this course, make sure that you dedicate that kind of time commitment. Please, don’t short-change yourselves; this is an investment in your sexual health and wellbeing.

You and your partner will take turns being the one touched and the one doing the touching. Both of you will have 30 minutes to touch and 30 minutes to be touched: 15 minutes lying on your front; 15 minutes on your back.

Week 1—Breaking the Ice
Structured touching will be unfamiliar to you at first. I want you to use this first session to connect with each other in a sensual and playful way. I want each of you to explore every inch of your partner’s body from head to toe, first the back of the body then the front. This first week, however, avoid one another’s genitals.

This isn’t massage, where touch is directed toward pleasuring your partner. Sensate focus exercises are about gleaning information. Focus on how it feels to touch different parts of your partner’s body in a non-seductive way. Be aware of the different textures contours and temperatures. Use different pressures—heavy and light; different strokes—long and short. Use fingertips, palms, the back of your hands and forearms.

When you’ve finished the first 30 minutes, swap places. This will work best if the one being touched relinquishes control as much as possible. Keep verbal communication at a minimum. Once the hour is over, thank one another for the experience and get on with the rest of your day. Don’t try to process things right then and there, just sit with the sensations. Or better still; write your feelings in a journal that you might want to share later.

Week 2—Making Things More Interesting
Building on what you learned in the first week; this time, kick it up a notch by expanding the structured touching to include anal and genital areas. These are sexually charged zones, but the touch must remain non-seductive. Begin the exercise with some full-body touching before moving on to the new areas. Again, the emphasis is on obtaining information and awareness of physical sensations.

This is where things got a bit challenging for Trent. When his wife touched his butt, I told him I wanted him to want stay in the moment and focus on who was touching him and why. Trent’s wife was not touching him in a sexual manner; she was gathering information.

Staying in the present helps take the edge off. If anxiety builds, deep breathing can help you to relax. Your partner will probably be very nervous too, so breathing together can be helpful.

A guided touch technique can also be useful. Place one of your hands on top of your partner’s and guide it over your trigger area. Try using more or less pressure as you see fit. Remember your trigger spot is just like every other part of your body. Even though an early trauma has sensitized this area to be off bounds, sensate focus exercises will re-sensitize and reintegrate it with the rest of your body. You’ll have to trust me on this.

Week 3—Mutual Touching
This week, we move on to mutual touching. However, it must remain structured and non-seductive, both in the giving and receiving. Mutual touch will provide a more natural form of physical interaction than the previous weeks. You’ll also be shifting attention from how it feels to touch to being aware of how your partner is receiving your touch. Keep verbal communication to a minimum. Let your body tell your partner how you are enjoying the touch. If you must talk, assign a number code to the touch you are receiving: 5 being, ho-hum, 1 being Yowsa!

Remember, no matter how sexually aroused you become, this is not a prelude to sex. If you need to release your sexual tension, feel free to masturbate afterward. No partnered sex during the exercises. Okay?

Week 4—Bringin’ It Home
This last week of exercises continues the mutual touching, with a focus on overcoming any final reservations you have about your trigger zone and the pleasure you derive from it. More of your partner’s touch should focus on that area. For Trent, I advised that his wife include a nice lotion or personal lube for this investigation. (Touching with a wet hand is different from touching with a dry hand.) While concentrating on his butt with one hand, I suggested she fondle his genitals with the other. By playing with the energy around Trent’s sphincter, his wife was able to redirect it and help him reconnect his ass to the rest of his body.

Try receiving your wire’s touch in different positions. Being proactive will facilitate the healing. While she is touching your trigger area, move your butt toward her to meet the caress. You’ll immediately see how being in control will help you move beyond any remaining anxiety. You are not just being passive recipient anymore; you are actively involved with inviting the pleasure. If there are still reservations, take it slow until they too, melt away.

Once he’d freed up his ass for pleasure, I told Trent be sure to incorporate butt play into his future lovemaking repertoire, but I also reminded him to take as much time as he needed to resolve the issue. There is no quick fix. I assured him, though, with diligence and care, sensate focus would remove the fear and shame of the molestation, and replace it with a sense of wholeness, joy and pleasure.

Good luck

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Take A Deep Breath

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Name: Jake
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: London
I have never had sex mostly because I have never managed to approach the person. I am bisexual and am desperate to have sex with a guy or girl. What are the best ways to approach someone for sex?

Can’t manage to approach a person for sex?  Are you just really shy, or are you a total geek?  Either way, my friend, you gotta get over yourself if you ever hope to get laid.  And here’s a tip:  perspective partners can smell desperation, like the kind you speak of, a mile away.  And they will avoid you like the plague.

Ok, so you’re just 18 without a lot of experience in the ways of the world.  teen_sexuality.jpgHere’s what I tell everyone who asks me this question, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation.  When it comes to asking for sex; the direct approach works best.  Just so long as you’re not a dick about it.  If you haven’t already discovered this, baggin a bird will probably take a bit more finesse than pokin’ on a bloke.  And coming on to a mate demands a different approach than hittin’ up a stranger for a shag.

If there’s a bit of charm about you, your task will be considerably easier than if you are a crude Neanderthal who just wants to notch his belt.  If you’re not sure what your selling points are, ask a friend for his or her feedback.  If he or she tells you nice things bout yourself, you might be in luck.  If he or she tells you that you’re a charmless creep, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Regardless what group you fall into — the “maybe fuckable”, or the “not fucking ever”, you can always improve your image and hone your unique style.  Look to how you present yourself; make sure you are groomed, clean and odor-free.  Dress to impress.  Stay clear of fancy or fussy, but do make it look like you gave your cloths a thought before you dressed yourself.  Make yourself interesting; have a point of view, but share it sparingly.  Develop a sense of humor about yourself.  If you can’t be clever or witty, then keep your mouth shut for the most part.

boys_kissing05.jpgThe internet is a great place to test the waters.  Dating and hook-up sites abound.  Put up a profile…with a photo or two.  Here’s a tip, save the dick pics for the queer sites.  Women don’t want to see your pathetic willie, at least not right away.  And like I said above, there’s nothing more unattractive to most women, or men, than a desperate fuck.  Asking for what you want is good, pleading to be taken out of pity is not!

Few women are as casual about sex as are most men.  So if a woman tells you no, she just may be shy, or not ready, or not sure.  If a guy tell you no, it’s not the end of the world.  He’s probably not into your type.  Since there are so many fish in the sea, if you’re not immediately successful, move on.  Sometimes getting laid is a situational thing.  Being in the right place at the right time is helpful.

Chicks are gonna be concerned about the whole pregnancy thing. This is much more serious concern for a woman then for a dude. If you’re not well versed on all methods of contraception and willing to practice at least one, you’re not ready to have sex. Sexually transmitted infections ought to be a concern for you both.  Don’t be a fuck-up; always use a condom regardless of your partner’s gender.

condoms001.jpg

If you’re dick is hard, it’s not the right time to talk about sex with a woman, but it might be the best time to hit up a dude.  Women don’t necessarily like the lean and hungry look.  Men tend to groove on it.

There are lots of different ways to have sex, so what might be appealing to one person may not be to another.  Hand jobs and/or blow jobs are often more easy to cum by than full-on fucking with both birds and blokes.

In the end, there no standard way to ask for sex, but if you treat a prospective partner, regardless of gender, with respect, honesty, and patience, you can be sure whatever words you use will be more effective than if you’re an uncouth lout.

Name: Nita
Gender: female
Age: 40
Location: South Africa
I recently had abdominal surgery to remove a cancer.  I’m recovering pretty well, and the prognosis for my future is also pretty good.  But I am noticing two problems. The surgery left a really big scar.  It’s still not fully healed yet, but I can tell it’s always going to be ugly.  And my belly is really misshapen now. I felt pretty okay about my body before hand, but this scar really makes me look really unattractive.  Also, my sex drive has completely gone away. I used to be a pretty sexual person, but now nothing excites me. Would you say this is normal?

How long ago was your surgery, I wonder?  It’s got to be pretty recent, if you say the incision is still healing.

Darlin’, may I suggest that you’ve been through quite a trauma — a cancer diagnosis, recent surgery and all.  This would throw anyone for a loop.  I’d be willing to guess you’ve not had the proper time to process all of this.  It comes as no surprise to me that your libido has gone south.  I wouldn’t expect otherwise.

If you’re still healing on the outside, you know for sure your insides have a much longer way to go.  You’re probably still feeling some discomfort, right?  That’s enough to put the kibosh on sexual interest right there.  You’re body is consumed with the job of healing itself.  It probably hasn’t any energy to spare for sex.  And why have a libido if ya can’t be sexual, right?   So you see, your body is actually protecting itself and concentrating on the task at hand.sensual_massage110.JPG

Maybe at this point in your recovery a little pampering would be better for you than a pursuit of sexual pleasure.  Long luxurious baths will help soothe the tension, as well as giving your easy access to your fine pussy.  Even folks with no discernable libido find touching themselves enjoyable. And just to keep your head in the game, even though you’re sitting on the sidelines, you could read some erotica or watch some sexy smut.

Some modest exercise like walking or swimming can perk up the libido too.  Treat yourself to an erotic massage.  Let a pro get his or her hands on you and make you glow.  This may also help bring back some of the sensitivity to areas effected by the surgery.  One things for sure, doing something is better than doing nothing but sitting there wondering what’s up.

An invasive and disfiguring surgery will always have a profound effect on one’s body image, which goes without saying.  Feeling unattractive because of a scar? No doubt about it, it’s a bummer.  But here you are writing to me about it, instead of napping six-feet under.  So I guess the scar is not the worst thing that could have happened, right?  As you probably know, I’m hearing from a number of my country’s war vets returning home with shattered bodies and lives.  My advice to them is what I offer you now.  Move through the scar’s impact…with a therapist if need be.  And find within yourself the other things that make you beautiful, attractive, alluring and desirable. Who knows, you might luck out and find a scar fetishist out there who will worship you for what you find loathsome.

mastectomy_scars.jpgEmbracing and then moving past your scaring will open you to find the myriad pleasures your body can still provide you and others.  So while your body works on healing itself, your mind can do likewise.  No need to have two scars, on one your belly and another one on your psyche.  In the end you may find that flaunting your scar, like some women do with their mastectomy scars, will liberate you from feeling unattractive.  After all, that scare and misshapen abdomen are your red badges of courage, honey.  Not only do they make you distinct, but also they testify to you being a survivor.

Name: David
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Location: New York, NY
This is a rather disgusting question. I am a gay male who prefers to be the bottom. The trouble is that even if I perform an enema right before sex, I still seem to get some excrement onto my partner’s penis during sex. It just seems that the feeling of the motion back and forth inside of me causes a sensation that makes something come out. The odor is, at times, unpleasant and I, of course, am mortified. I wonder if this is a common problem and if there is anything else I can do to PREVENT this from happening?? Could it perhaps be my diet? Do I need to drink more water?

YIKES!  You sound like a real attractive guy, David.  Just kidding!

If you are douching properly before the butt fucking there shouldn’t be much seepage if any.  Maybe you’re not taking care of business correctly.  Or maybe you need to douche twice.  Or maybe you’re being fucked too hard.  I know that a vigorous fucking will introduce more air into the bottom’s rectum expanding it and making for that “OMG, I gotta take a dump” feeling.butt_fuck5.jpg

I understand you being mortified; a smelly dirty fuck is no fun for anyone.  That being said, you have to realize your bowels are working properly, so it’s not their fault.  Just remember, there will inevitably be some unpleasant side effects when rootin’ around in someone’s hole, regardless how fastidious the bottom is about his hygiene.

I’m not sure I see the connection between diet and hydration and messy fucking, but hell, I’d try just about anything to keep from embarrassing myself when my toes are pointed to jesus!

Name: Ken
Gender:
Age: 42
Location: Seattle
I recently went to get a massage with a “happy ending” As soon as the girl started to fondle me I came and I did not even have an erection yet.  I never have this problem with my wife or past girlfriends. Why did this happen? It sure cost a lot of money for about five minutes with this “lady”. Thanks

Well, let’s see…either this “masseuse” (and I use that term very loosely) was amazingly talented, or you were just real nervous about doing this naughty thing with someone other than your wife.

Hmmm, I bet it was the later.

Here’s a tip, always get the massage first…before the happy ending.  If the first thing that happens is the happy ending, then you got gypped, darlin’!

Name: Marion
Gender: female
Age: 32
Location: NYC
I’m 34 and single.  After 15 years of unsuccessful dating, searching for the right guy to marry and raise a family with, I decided to go it alone.  I’m 2 months pregnant through artificial insemination.  You’ll love this; the donor is my best gay pal.  I am absolutely delighted and cherish the thought of finally being a mother.  While a lot of the guys I’ve been dating aren’t father material, they are great sex and I don’t want to continue to enjoy their company.  I gather that it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy.  But is there anything I should avoid?  Are there specific sexual positions that better suit a mommy-to-be like me?

Hey, congratulations on the bun in the oven, darlin’.  And how true about some men being great in the sack, but not desirable husband and/or father material.  I know several gay men who have helped out a long-suffering straight and lesbian friends with the whole breeding thing.  Us “mos” are so selfless in that regard.  😉

It’s difficult to find accurate and unambiguous information about sex preg_sex01jpg.jpgduring pregnancy that doesn’t have a decidedly sex-negative bias to it.  For the most part, our culture promotes the message that sex is primarily for procreation.  Why then would any responsible mother to be continue to have sex if she’s already knocked up?  You can see where a lot of the misconceptions, misinformation and scare tactics come from, huh?

So let’s see if we can shed some light on this for ya.  As a pregnancy advances, the fertilized egg grows into an embryo and then into a fetus. The fetus is encased in and protected by the amniotic cavity.  This provides the fetus nourishment and protects it from infections.  A thick layer of mucus seals the cervix further isolating the fetus in the mother’s uterus.

If you’re having a normal pregnancy, as do most women, then there is no reason to alter your sex life during your pregnancy.  Since this is your first, you’ll not know this, but a woman who has a history of premature birth may be advised by her physician to abstain from partnered sex during the last three months of pregnancy.  In the same way, a woman with a history of miscarriage will probably be advised to avoid partnered sex in the first trimester.  Only women with high-risk pregnancies might be advised to avoid sex for the full term of the pregnancy.

Nature provides all protection the fetus needs in its mother’s uterus. So you don’t need to worry about semen or vaginal fluids coming into contact with the baby.  And the mucus seal on your cervix does not allow a penis to come in direct contact with the fetus either.  Which dispels several misconceptions right there, don’t cha know.

In terms of pregnancy related sex, I suspect that your libido will probably play a more determining role in your availability for sex than you capacity to have sex.  Your libido will no doubt fluctuate during your pregnancy, which may have a lot to do with hormonal fluctuations.  Increased blood circulation in your pelvic region will heighten sensations, but you may find your body feels too heavy to fully enjoy sex.

Most men will love your bigger tits and fuller hips, but sometimes an overriding concern to avoid any exertion on the uterus or in the vagina makes partnered sex too cumbersome.

Sex during pregnancy, like sex after menopause, is free of worry about contraception, which makes sex more enjoyable for some.  While others are too busy anticipating the new addition to be much interested in sex at all.

In terms of sexual positions, you’re gonna be the best judge of that.  No preg_sex08.jpgposition is automatically ruled out, but as your pregnancy progresses you’ll find some positions, like the missionary position, will be uncomfortable. One of the best positions might be the woman on top position. Sometimes known as the Cowgirl position.  This position takes all of the pressure off of the woman’s abdomen, and also allows her to control the speed and the depth of thrusting.

And if you are a fan of anal sex; that will continue to be a terrific option throughout your pregnancy, particularly doggie style.  Some pregnant women claim that butt fucking actually helps soothe their pregnancy induced hemorrhoids.  In your final weeks mutual masturbation may be the easiest option as well as the most satisfying sexual outlet.

Good Luck ya’ll

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A Crescendo of High-Tech

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday once again. And, like last week, we welcome a new manufacturer to our review effort. This week it’s another amazing British company, Mystery Vibe.  (Holy Cow, what’s going on in the UK that is making it the new center for innovative adult products? Whatever it is, everyone here at Dr Dick Sex Advice and Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews is stoked about it.)

I’m also delighted to welcome back two of our veteran reviewers for this special assignment, Kevin & Gina.

Crescendo —— $179.00

Kevin & Gina
Gina: “Well, this feels pretty familiar, but a little odd too. I can’t believe we are back on the Dr Dick Review Crew. How did that happen? I thought we swore off these reviews years ago.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Just when I thought I was out; they keep pulling me back in.’ But you have to admit, we did miss this mess a little bit, didn’t we?”
Gina: “I guess so. No, that’s not true. I really missed it. I didn’t miss reviewing the same old stuff over and over again. That was boring as shit! But I think we both missed reviewing products that, one could immediately see, have been designed and manufactured by creative people thinking outside the box. In fact, we both said that we would rather review those products, even if those products didn’t quite hit the mark, than review something less creative and innovative.”
Kevin: “So true! I have so much more respect for people who try something different and unique, even if it fails; than I do for people cranking out more of the same old same old.”
Gina: “So when Dr Dick asked us if we would ever consider coming back to the Review Crew he was smart enough to wave something irresistible in front of us.
Kevin: “To paraphrase Michael Corleone: ‘He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.’”
Gina: “So here we are back in the bosom of the Review Crew after a nearly three year absence so we can bring you something really remarkable. Check out Crescendo from Mystery Vibe. They say it’s the world’s first body-adapting vibrator. I guess we’ll just have to see about that.

Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone again: ‘I respect those that tell me the truth, no matter how hard that is.’”
Gina: “Is that all you’re gonna do today? I mean I love your Al Pacino, but this is just too nutty.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Never let anyone know what you are thinking.’ OK, OK, I think I got that out of my system for now. Before Gina tells you about the vibe itself I want to comment on the packaging. Crescendo come in a sleek, sophisticated, and elegant gift box. Gold embossed black slipcover covers a beautiful textured box, also in black and gold. Inside the box you will find a black quilted storage bag secured with a tasteful black embossed ribbon, a USB cord, the charging stand or dock, and the striking Crescendo itself. All the packaging is recyclable. If first impressions are important, this packaging certainly got our attention.”

Gina: “As stylish as the packaging is, that’s only the beginning. Here are some of the highlights of the Crescendo itself. First, it’s 9 inches in length and has a maximum diameter of 1.75 inches. Second, it’s bendable; there are three joints that enable you to shape it so that you can use it in different ways. Both women and men will be able to enjoy this vibe alone or with a partner. There are an astonishing number of vibration patterns programmed into the toy when you first take it out of the package, 12 to be precise. There are also 16 power levels for each pattern. You can increase/decrease one step at a time or use the jump function to leap to the highest or lowest settings instantly. Crescendo saves the last pattern you were using so that when you resume your pleasuring it’s right where you left it. And get this, it has six different motors; can you believe that? Four motors in the middle of the toy and two higher intensity motors at either end of the toy.”
Kevin: “I want to say a bit more about Crescendo’s bendability because this is what makes it so damned innovative. It can be easily shaped and positioned into several shapes making it ideal for a whole range of pleasuring. When Gina is using it as an insertable, she curves the tip towards the front wall of her vagina to get amazing g-spot sensations. She can also fold it into a U-shape so that she can get both internal and external pleasure. It’s even wearable. We use it in an S-shape for mind-blowing oral sex. When it’s my turn, I bend it around my dick. I can use it as a stroker or as a cradle. Don’t forget your balls and taint (perineum). You can sit on it with the tip curled up to pleasure your butthole, which is totally awesome. The only thing you can’t do is use the Crescendo as an anal dildo. It doesn’t have a secure flared base that would prevent the toy from slipping up your ass. Oh, and don’t try to bend it side-to-side either.”

Gina: “Charging the Crescendo is so easy. You simply place it onto the USB charging stand or dock. However, you need to place it just right (luckily, directions are included in the package). Once you’ve found the sweet spot the light on the vibe will start to blink indicating it’s charging. A full charge takes about an about 1 hour. When Crescendo is ready to go the blinking stops and the light remains solid. We got about two hours of non-stop play at full intensity on a single charge. All the buttons are lighted too for your convenience.”
Kevin: “The Crescendo is covered is covered in a velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. Submerge it into the skink with mild soap and warm water and scrub it down a bit. Then let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize it for sharing. And because Crescendo is also 100% waterproof, it’s the ideal toy for bath or shower.”

Gina: “Make sure you use only a water-based lubricant with Crescendo. I suppose some of the newer silicone-hybrid lubes might work too, but I would be careful and do a test patch first. You wouldn’t want to mar the beautiful silicone skin. Oh, and get this: there is a one year warranty from the date of purchase, as long as you have register your toy on Mystery Vibe website.”
Kevin: “Besides all of this good stuff there’s even an app for Crescendo. This will surely make all of our techie friends squeal with delight. I mean this is the height of high-tech sex toys. Go to your app store, download the Crescendo app, and follow the prompts. We discovered that the app wanted to update Crescendo’s firmware first. Once that was done we had access to dozens of pre-programed vibration patterns and we can customize our own patterns too.”
Gina: “I want to make another comment about Crescendo’s shape-shifting capacity. Bend it to suit your need or position and it stays in shape during play, even with vigorous activity.”

Kevin: “I found the buttons a little difficult to manage, my fingers are just too big. The buttons can also get pretty slippery when Crescendo is all lubed up, so there’s that.”
Gina: “Here’s something interesting. I was showing the Crescendo to an older friend of mine because I know how much she likes her vibrators. She is nearly sixty-nine, but very spry. I only mention her age because I think Crescendo might be a little too technically advanced for seniors. So, as I was going on and on about how great Crescendo is; showing her how it bends, even showing her the app, she got a dismayed look on her face and said, ‘It’s very beautiful and I can see why you like it so much, but it’s just way too complicated for me.”
Kevin: “I hope our toys don’t get so technically advanced that we leave older folks behind. That would be a real shame.”
Gina: “I also want to comment on the vibrations. Despite the zillions of patterns and speeds, the vibrations are more of the buzzy type rather than the deep rumble type that some women crave. I know each person has her own preferences along this line and no one vibe will be perfect for every one, so I thought I would mention that for those who might have a preference. ”

Kevin: “Gina and I liked just about everything about Crescendo. I was sold on the innovative design, it being rechargeable, and waterproof.”

Full Review HERE!

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A ‘Hand’ Book for Male Masturbation

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The new masturbation manifesto and advice manual Better Than the Hand has a bank of spank tips that are hard to beat.

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Every one knows that May is Masturbation Month, but they may not be observing this as an occasion to improve their masturbatory skill set. That’s why it’s a stroke of genius that a new book written by author Magnus Sullivan, Better Than The Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex and Healthier Living, was just published, tossing off a toolbox of masturbation techniques and providing meaty tips to extend these practices into partner sex (if you will).

“Even after 22 years of International Masturbation Month, we still find that so many people hold a bias against masturbation,” Good Vibrations staff sexologist Dr. Carol Queen tells SF Weekly. “How can that be a good thing, to disrespect the one sexual pleasure-focused act that everyone can access whenever they want?”

Queen’s lessons on masturbation served as the inspiration for Better Than the Hand, a volume of pocket pinball tips for men or anyone with a penis. It describes a series of hand-y steps and exercises to maintain erections for longer than 15 minutes, employing various sex toys for unique penile arousal scenarios, and using masturbation tricks to regain that erection after having already blown your load once.

“Male masturbation is a very taboo thing for us to talk about, much more so than female masturbation,” Sullivan says.

Although it’s listed now, Better Than the Hand was not always available on Amazon. The online retailer’s censors shut down access to the book once they discovered it was about male masturbation, and other websites have been similarly unreceptive.

“I can’t advertise the book on Facebook,” Sullivan tells SF Weekly. “They rejected every single ad.”

He’s been able to get out of Amazon purgatory, but not without a fight.

“They sent me a note saying, ‘Your book is currently being reviewed for explicit content,’” he recalls. “There’s no explicit content in the book. We’re talking about masturbation!”

But ‘explicit content’ may be in the eye of the beholder. After all, this is a book that contains sentences like, “If you haven’t experienced the deep, muscle-penetrating hum of a Magic Wand on your perineum, anus, and cock, then you’re living in the sexual dark ages.”

Yes, this guy is advocating that men should apply the clitoral sex toy known as the Hitachi Magic Wand not only to their own junk, but to their intimate booty regions as well.

“I got one of the most powerful orgasms I’ve ever had from the Hitachi Wand,” Sullivan tells SF Weekly. “When you use it as a man, I think it’s the closest thing you can experience that’s akin to a female orgasm, because it just kind of happens to you. It isn’t this cock-centric stroking experience, it’s just like all of a sudden there’s this welling up of sensuality, sexuality, and orgasmic sensations that result in an orgasm.”

“For me, that was an eye-opener that there’s a much bigger world out there regarding my own body,” he adds.

Needless to say, there are some pretty freaky masturbation techniques described in this book. It’s called Better Than the Hand because your hand is what you’re already using for jackin’ the beanstalk, but this book sets out to expand your rubbing-out repertoire to include a number of unconventional sex toys that many heterosexual guys would be embarrassed to admit owning.

Better Than the Hand lists and evaluates a whole range of penis sleeves, Fleshlights, cock rings, penis pumps, Tenga eggs, prostate massagers, and more. There is even a section on those humanoid sex dolls, which the sex doll-owning community prefers we refer to as “full-size masturbators.”

“Masturbation isn’t seen by 99 percent of men as a way to experiment,” Sullivan says, passionately defending these sex toys for men. “Toys can be used to manage premature orgasms, to stay hard after orgasms, and to have multiple orgasms.”

Men’s sexual problems, as Sullivan sees it, can be attributed to male masturbation being a task traditionally handled quickly, quietly, and with great shame. Men have a tendency to go straight for their own primary erogenous zone and ejaculate as quickly as possible.

That’s bad technique, and why the Journal of Sexual Medicine estimates men last, on average, 5.4 minutes during vaginal intercourse. Sullivan sets out to establish male masturbation as a “process-oriented rather than a goal-oriented activity,” with specifics strategies to enhance the four separate identifiable stages of Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm, and Resolution.

In doing so, men can enhance not only their quality of sex but also their personal health. The book argues that masturbation has specific male health benefits, like reducing the risk of prostate cancer, boosting the immune system, and improving the quality of your sleep.

But most importantly, coming to grips with your masturbating habits — and being able to talk about them — can make men better lovers, and less chauvinistic as people.

“As men explore their own bodies, they’re also becoming much more skillful, knowledgeable, sensitive lovers,” Sullivan says. “When you have sexual identity and sexual behavior being constrained or restricted, it leads to a problem of toxic male sexuality.”

This toxic male sexuality has been seen in the headlines around Brock Turner, the Stanford student who assaulted an unconscious woman, or with our pussy-grabbing president. Having produced both straight and gay adult films for more than 20 years, Sullivan sees toxic male sexuality as a primarily straight male phenomenon.

“Most gay men have come to terms with what it is to be sexual,” he tells SF Weekly. “Most straight men aren’t dealing with questions like that, so they never develop the vocabulary, the empathy, or the emotional intelligence to have these subtle interactions.”

A lack of empathy or emotional intelligence can be seen in the pornography that straight men watch, and why this porn profoundly bothers their female partners.

“The biggest fantasy of most straight men is fucking some 18-year-old girl in the ass,” says Sullivan, who also manages an online porn streaming platform. “By far, the largest-watched category of porn is anal sex with young models.”

It might be fair to say this represents arrested emotional development among porn-watching straight men. But it also represents a psychological toll for their female partners, creating body-image issues and a sense of betrayal over how the porn-consuming straight guy prefers these adult-film starlets.

Men forget that feeling desired is a primary erotic trigger for many women, and that to desire someone else may feel like a violation of the couple’s intimacy. This sense of violation can also play out when masturbation or porn interferes with a guy’s ability to get erections.

“The desire thing is probably linked to the way some women freak out when their male partners can’t get erections on demand,” Queen says. “It feels like the cock is the barometer of desirability. It’s fucked up, but there it is.”

Better Than the Hand addresses many of the sticky topics that surround male masturbation, and it has some dynamite chapters on communicating masturbatory habits and the use of toys for couples, plus a detailed script for an outrageously hot mutual-masturbation scenario.

But the book’s main thrust is to give men a curiosity on how to make their dick work better, and how masturbating is key to this process. As so capably said by our long-lost muse Whitney Houston, “Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Patriarchy 101

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Consent can’t be implied, Michael Valpy writes. Why is that so hard for men to understand?

By Michael Valpy

I begin each university course I teach by stating that my course syllabus includes a website link to the campus sexual-assault centre and by explaining to my students what sexual consent means in Canadian law.

I find it necessary in an ordinary classroom of young Canadians to caution half the population against the other half, which I’ve thought about as I make my way through The Globe and Mail’s Unfounded series on thousands of sexual assault complaints blocked by disbelieving police officers from ever arriving in court.

What I do in the classroom may as well be labelled Patriarchy 101. Men sexually assault women because they can – because on average, they are larger and stronger – and because a lot of other men with power believe that women either fabricate the assaults or else act in a way that invites the assaults.

In nice Canada, this is still going on after half a century of sex education in public schools, in a country with progressive sexual-assault legislation and jurisprudence (barring the declarations of knees-together judge Robin Camp), in a country with the world’s greatest proportion of the population having formal postsecondary learning and being the ninth-ranked country (out of 155) on the United Nations gender inequality index.

Canadian researchers have written in the New England Journal of Medicine that between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of all postsecondary students are sexually assaulted in a four-year enrolment period with the highest incidence in their first two years when they’re teenagers. Combining the NEJM analysis with Statistics Canada postsecondary enrolment and gender data, that works out to about 160,000 victims annually, 92 per cent of them young women.

Yet, the public conversation usually gets no farther than tweaking administrative rules on reporting protocols, police investigations, prosecutions and the hammers that the courts should bring down on offenders – all important – while leaving the root cause untouched.

Men are always going to sexually assault women, goes the cant.

All of us guys have done it, exerted a bit of, you know, persuasion, resulting in what philosopher Simone Weil described three-quarters of a century ago as “a gendered violation of the soul.”

It is a social norm.

Pierre Bourdieu, the late French anthropologist renowned for his study of the dynamics of power in society, said that, for heterosexual males, “the sexual act is thus represented as an act of domination, an act of possession, a ‘taking’ of woman by man … [and] is the most difficult [behaviour] to uproot.” Men use words for sex that relate to sports victories, military action or strength: to score, to hit on, to nail, to make a conquest of, to “have,” to “get.”

Synonyms for seduce include beguile, betray, deceive, entice, entrap, lure, mislead – not one word in the bunch implying two people intimately enjoying each other with respect.

Most condom purchases are made by women, even though men wear them, and, increasingly, condom manufacturers are directly marketing to women, albeit using more feminine packaging.

In an episode of Downton Abbey, Lady Mary Crawley, having decided to go off on a sexual weekend with Lord Gillingham, asks her maid, Anna Bates, to buy condoms. “Why won’t he take care of it?” Anna asks. Replies Lady Mary: “I don’t think one should rely on a man in that department, do you?” Dr. Mariamne Whatley, a leading U.S. scholar on sexual education, says women have long been expected to take responsibility for men’s sexuality for which there is no defensible rationale beyond the fact that it’s women who get pregnant.

Adolescent girls, she says, are encouraged to “solve” the “problem” of teenage pregnancy. Whistles, sprays, flashlights and alarms are marketed to women. Women are expected to screen out potential rapists among dating partners and to learn some form of self-defense.

Why? Because men allegedly are overcharged on androgen hormones – testosterone – and can’t stop themselves from going “too far.” Which has no biological validity. “As a student in my sexuality class put it,” psychologist Noam Shpancer wrote in a 2014 article in Psychology Today, “‘If your parents walk in on you having sex with your girlfriend, you stop what you’re doing in a second, no matter what.’”

Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s R v Chase decision in 1987, judges have been able to consider a complainant’s subjective experience and look beyond contact with any specific part of the human body to consider whether the victim’s sexual integrity has been violated.

Belief in so-called implied consent has been thoroughly repudiated by Canadian courts – just because a woman does not repeat her initial “No” or push a guy away, it does not mean she is legally consenting. Obviously, there’s a limit to how deeply that has sunk in.

Yet there is a line of feminist scholarly thought that says when subordination of women is replaced by sustained anger from women, men become more receptive to change and the conventional categories of masculinity and femininity dissolve once, as political theorist Joan Cocks puts it, “the masculine self moves away from a rigid stance of sexual command.”

So angry, angry women: That’s what I hope my female students will be. No tolerance. No forgiveness.

Complete Article HERE!

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